Thursday, May 12, 2005
Instead of the daily story I decided to post a rant. That's what blogs are for, right? Destiny, fate, and much, much worse, the Deutsche Bundespost have played a cruel joke on me. I ordered a book, and through no fault of the sender, the book that arrived was a completely different one. Imagine how perplexed I was to find, instead of the literary title I had ordered, a work in Portuguese, by Professor Marcelo Lopes de Souza, entitled "O Desafio Metropolitano - Um Estudo sobre a Problematica Socio-espacial nas Metropoles Brasileiras." Without confiding in babelfish I take it to be a socio-economic analysis of the problems of Brazil's metropolitan areas, a book I wouldn't choose to read even if it were in English. No offense to the subject or to Professor Lopes de Souza who I am sure has written a classic in its own right. I simply detest reading analyses of any kind. I wanted literature.
Upon opening the package I was at first perplexed. Upon closer inspection it became apparent that the package had been opened and resealed with tape labeled clearly with the "Deutsche Bundespost" name and logo. The package also had a stamp of inspection by the German customs office. The original book may have been stolen!
I dialed the Bundespost's customer service number only to hear a recording that they'd all gone home. I looked at the clock. It was 8 PM, the time their service goes to bed. I went to their Website and poured all of my inspiration, creativity and bitterness into a letter of complaint, including a demand for reimbursement. But I know it will do no good. They will tell me the package wasn't insured, it wasn't registered, it wasn't properly packed, etc. etc. In short, that it wasn't their fault.
But I couldn't lose any more time with this. I had a story to write for my blog. I wrote a story. And then I wrote another one. I found that this incident had so affected me that I was taking my anger out on the characters, doing terrible things to them that they did not deserve. If only the chance combinings of indeterminacy had left me with a book of equal value to me or better it could have been so different. But this was just pure meanness. Even worse, my muse is away for the week visiting her parents. She might have cheered me up, but without her by my side, I'm afraid this has fed on my mind.
Then I decided. I will not rest. Though I may be fighting German windmills, I will not surrender. The German windmills have been provoking me for years, and this was the last straw. This is war. I will visit their Deutsche Bundespost. I will speak to them firmly and not without a crazed glint in my eye. I will pursue this matter until I have seen every office and desk in every branch office and headquarters of their entire organization. Some of the employees I will see so often we may even become friends, greeting each other by first name, and talking over old times, when I first began complaining. I may even see my original book lying in the open, on someone's desk. When this is all over I will either have my money back from them or I will be left with a masterpiece of non-fiction surpassing "Der Prozess" by Kafka.
Getting my mind to other things I would like to announce that this month's prize for the weekend story contributions will be a book by Marcelo Lopes de Souza on the problems of urban Brazil. If life gives you a lemon, make lemonade. There. I feel better now.
Note: This story is dedicated to Princess Dominique